In the spring of 2016, the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) began talks with Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) about the idea of an educational resource guide on female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C).  The Council being an entity of ethnic, racial and cultural diversity in education, had expressed its concerns about a new problem that seemed to plague communities in the U.S.  That problem was FGM/C, and the Council thought that such resource would serve to help remedy the problem.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, which had already written a training manual a year earlier, and is an advocate in the campaign to end the practice of FGM/C readily welcomed the idea of the educational resource.

The FGM/C Prevention:  A Resource for U.S. Schools is intended to serve as an educational tool in FGM/C for nurses, guidance counselors and teachers in schools.  With too few school personnel knowing enough about the practice of FGM/C, and the cultural aspects of it, both CGCS and GWPF are confident that this toolkit is a much essential resource.

The Council of the Great City Schools brings together 68 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems in a coalition, dedicated to the improvement of education for children in the inner cities. The Council and its member school districts work to help schoolchildren meet the highest standards and become successful and productive members of society.  The Council keeps the nation’s lawmakers, the media, and the public informed about the progress and problems in big-city schools. The organization does this through legislation, communications, research, and technical assistance.  The mission of the Council is to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research and media relations. The organization also provides a network for school districts, sharing common problems to exchange information, and to collectively address new challenges as they emerge in order to deliver the best possible education for urban youth.

In a report released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, more than a half a million women and girls reside in the U.S. who are either at risk of FGM/C or are living with the consequences of it.  The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) reports that there are sixteen major high-risk metropolitan areas in the U.S.  Some of those areas are the District of Columbia Metro, New York, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Boston, Providence, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco.

 

Since those sixteen major high-risk metropolitan areas are members of the CGCS, the Council partnered with Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation to create the resource guide for U.S. school staff to support the prevention of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). Although CGCS and GWPF are proud to introduce this resource to the public, as a result of  the hard work and dedication of Angela Peabody from the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation and Ashley Ison, Gabriela Uro, and David Lai from the Council; however it is also the collaboration with the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Equality Now and other entities that made this compilation possible.

 

“I am so excited that it is done, and I think it was well worth the long wait,”  said Angela Peabody of the completion of the resource.  “Thanks to all who contributed and all the work and time put into it.”  She continued,  “I remember the very first phone conversation Gabriela and I had when it was only a concept.  To see it now as a document and reality, is remarkable.”

 

The toolkit, which is nicknamed for the resource guide is made available on the Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s website.  The document is also downloadable.  It will also be made available on the site of the Council of the Great City Schools, and Equality Now will link to both sites for additional accessibility.  Please feel free to visit, read and download as needed from this direct link.  http://globalwomanpeacefoundation.org/prevention-school-resource-fgm-toolkit/.  CGCS, GWPF and other collaborators invite you to share the news with others who might not receive this newsletter, by sharing the link with them.

 

If you have inquiries or comments about this article and/or the resource guide, please send them to info@globalwomanpeacefoundation.org or phone (703) 818-3787.